Cassandra Bannon 2015-05-14 10:44:34
Street Children in Mumbai Get a Second Chance Mumbai, the glittering capital of Maharashtra, is the wealthiest city in India. With a population of 18.4 million people, Mumbai is home to more millionaires and billionaires than any other city in India. Yet the metropolis suffers from widespread abject poverty and entrenched unemployment, and public health services are lacking for those who need them most. Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) and Lions in India are taking giant steps to aid those in need. For nearly 30 years, the Lions Nirman Health Center has offered consultation and treatment in the specialties of ophthalmology, gynecology, dentistry, pathology and physiotherapy to hundreds of lower- and middle-income families. The Lions of District 323-A3 were recently awarded a US$30,000 LCIF Standard grant to provide equipment to the Lions Nirman Health Center in Mumbai. The center is owned and operated by the Versova Lions Club. Thanks to LCIF and local Lions, the center will be able to help even more people with faster, more modern technology. Aside from the lack of access to health care in Mumbai, homelessness is also a major social problem. The Lions of District 323-A2 are working with the Samatol Foundation, a nongovernmental organization that aids street children, to care for homeless and runaway children who are loitering at train depots or on the streets. Until recently, Lions had nowhere to take them for rehabilitation. Now, Lions have received an LCIF Standard grant of US$26,822 to establish a home for street children. This grant allows local Lions to expand the partnership with Samatol Foundation to continue to provide vital services to the children who need them most. Six times annually, street children are picked up at train stations and taken to a rehabilitation camp at the home, where they receive food, shelter, counseling and medical care in a structured setting. The goal of the camp is to reunite the children with their families. If that is not possible, the children are placed with organizations that can provide long-term assistance such as vocational training. Either way, the camp aims to keep children from returning to the streets. The camp serves more than 240 children each year. LCIF and local Lions are actively working to improve access to quality health services and social supports for disadvantaged youth in and around Mumbai. For information on how your Lions club can apply for an LCIF Standard Grant, visit lcif.org.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
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